Calling Experts in Mississippi Personal Injury Case
There are two general categories of witnesses that may be involved with your personal injury case in Mississippi:
- Eye witnesses that were present at the incident and have personal knowledge of what they experienced; and,
- Expert witnesses that offer their specialty services, either as consultants who assist your attorney in preparing for trial or as presenters of testimony at trial – or both.
Both of these types of witnesses play critical roles to support your case as you pursue the party responsible for your injuries. However, the expert witness is a unique participant in the trial process. Under the Mississippi Rules of Evidence, a witness that qualifies as an expert on the basis of knowledge and education may testify to assist the jury in understanding the evidence. Your personal injury attorney can tell you more about the specifics of trial strategy, but it’s useful to understand how these expert witnesses may participate in your matter.
A medical expert may be involved in your case to review your injuries, treatments, surgeries, and other procedures. Then, he or she would offer an opinion that translates the more medically complex terms into common language. The input from a medical expert is often used to support a claim for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
In addition, if your injuries have a severe impact on your emotional well-being, your attorney may rely upon a mental health expert. This type of witness is also a medical expert; however, the focus is on how the incident and injuries have affected your state of mind.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
When fault isn’t completely clear, such as in a car or slip-and-fall accident, your lawyer may bring in an accident reconstruction specialist. These experts typically have an extensive background in physics and other sciences that analyze the science behind the causes of accidents. By using their own knowledge and the assistance of technology, accident reconstruction experts can establish links between actions, conditions, and fault.
If you’re claiming lost wages and/or loss of future wages, you may need the assistance of a financial professional. Lost wages from being out of work are relatively straightforward because they can be ascertained from payroll records. However, proving loss of business opportunities and future income requires the input of an economist that can show what you would have made in wages had the accident never happened.
Discuss the Role of Expert Witnesses with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Depending on the specifics and complexity of the evidence involved in your personal injury case, it’s possible that one or more of these types of expert witnesses may be involved. These individuals have specialized skills in taking complicated topics and turning them into concepts that average people – like those that comprise a jury – can understand. Of course, you can expect that the defendant’s attorney will also utilize experts, which is why retaining a skilled personal injury attorney is critical. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, please contact the Law Offices of Judy Guice to discuss your case. We’re happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your options at our Biloxi, MS location.